Teething necklaces have become super popular lately. My toddler has one, my baby has one, and even I have a hazelwood necklace. They are a natural alternative to medicine that can help reduce the symptoms of teething. Just pop it on and voila! No more drooly, fussy baby. But do they work? Are they as safe as claimed?
No Synthetic Chemicals
I’m not a huge fan of unecessary medication (I’m not anti medicine though – it definitely has a time and place!). I don’t typically take anything for pain or discomfort preferring instead to use natural and herbal remedies. The side efects (and creation of antibiotic resistant superbugs) just aren’t worth it to me. Plus babies and toddlers are smaller, and their immune system aren’t as powerful as an adult’s. Overdosing and medication reactions are a very real concern.
Teething necklaces however, are made from natural materials such as amber and hazelwood. They are placed around the neck or ankle rather than ingested making negative reactions less likely.
Ask almost any mom, and they’ll tell you all about how much it has helped their children. From drooling, irritability, pain and sleep problems, I’ve heard it all. Even though its anecdotal, its hard to discount so many individuals experiences.
And honestly, they’re just so cute! You can get amber necklaces (and bracelets) in so many different styles. With accent stones, character charms, and unpolished amber (there’s even Hazelwood necklaces), there’s a ton to choose from. My kiddos looked so cute with their little jewelry on that I even got a necklace just for me.
Amber necklaces when used properly pose little danger. However, they should only be used under supervision, and not during the night as they can pose a strangulation hazard if they were to snag on something. Most necklaces for babies feature a breakaway clasp but they aren’t fool-proof. Anklets were created to reduce the danger, and some moms will wrap the necklace around their child’s ankle, but the only 100% safe way is to take them off at night and put them back on in the morning.
Beads can also pose a choking risk if the string or cord is broken. Choosing the correct length necklace can lessen this risk, as can knotting between individual beads, however the risk is still there.
Amber necklaces contain succinic acid which is thought to help with inflammation. Warmth from the body causes the stone to release it and it is then absorbed into the body. However, it’s hard to say how much succinic acid is actually absorbed into the child’s body (toxicity studies have not, however associated any dangers with high amounts of succinic acid)
Amber necklaces aren’t regulated by the FDA or any other agency, meaning there’s no set standards for quality. Some people have thought they were purchasing amber, when in reality they got received colored plastic or glass. Curious about your own? The natural amber has a great list of ways to identify real amber. Most sellers who carry Baltic amber will have a certificate of authenticity.
No Research Studies
It’s important to note that no scientific research studies have proven the effectiveness of teething necklaces. It’s hard to say whether teething necklaces work, or if parents just think they work (IE the placebo effect). It’s also important to note that many things associated with teething (diahreea, fever, grumpyness), may not actually be from teething. Science Based Medicine has a great article on this.
Even though there isn’t a whole lot of research on teething necklaces, many families swear by them. They are a relatively easy way to relieve the symptoms associated with teething, although they can pose a safety hazard to young babies and children.
Do you use teething necklaces with your children? Did they work for you?